This is definitely one post to file under "better late than never" . . .
After a six hour drive to get into Carmel, it was absolute bliss to sink into this cozy, comforting café. Yes, it's all sorts of kitschy too with bric-a-bracs galore, but after a red-eye drive, I found all the knick-knacks charming . . . even the ones perilously perching on high shelves or dangling from the ceiling.
The price is considerably higher than the norm, especially for a casual diner spot (breakfast dishes here run $13-18), but the portions and quality more than make up for it. The three of us shared:
Three Swedish Pancakes ($13.50), each the size of a lumberjack's fist and generously stuffed with assorted berries and whipped cream, topped with a drizzle of raspberry sauce. The pancakes are more like crepes and have a distinctly wheaty flavor, and it worked well with the cream & berries (despite what the photo suggests, there's not a whole lotta cream here and they're merely hiding the cup's worth of berries that went in each pancake.)
Corned Beef Hash 'n Eggs made with red potatoes, mushrooms, onions, parsley and lean brisket ($14.50) . . . topped with poached eggs and served with even more taters. Every bit as tasty as Josh described, it's beefy and comforting, the juicy brisket going wonderfully with the medley of veggies and herbs . . . made even more indulgent once the luscious, runny yolks slather all over the mixture.
Santa Fe Benedict with tomatoes, avocado, grilled onions and spicy hollandaise ($15.50). For size comparison, note the coffee mug. And in case you can't quite tell with all the spicy Hollandaise... this is a three-egg benedict... along with one and a half avocado and scoopful of perfectly caramelized onion strands. Overall, I love this variation of the traditional benedict -- and can't wait to try their other ones next time I swing by (including ones made with Maine Lobster and crab cakes!)
Honestly, if we had known the gianormous portions that were brought forth . . . the three of us would've done just fine with two dishes (and we felt incredibly bad at being wasteful, leaving behind one pancake and a third of the hash behind.) And while I'll admit it's hefty in price and calories, it is definitely worthwhile as vacation grub . . . and comes with the added perk of keeping us full well past lunchtime.
Mission Street between 5th and 6th
Carmel, CA 93921